Christmas for most people is one of the happiest times of the year. It’s full of presents, Santa Clause, Singing, and goodies, that, I’m sure, are made completely out of sugar and food coloring. Houses are decked out with colorful lights and those giant blowup decorations, and in every window you can see a Christmas tree which, if they’re anything like my family’s trees, are decorated with a lifetime of memories, lights, and mismatched tinsel. During the Christmas season everyone is practically floating they are so happy and excited. Everyone, except for Ebeneezer Scrooge, The Grinch, and me.
I didn’t always hate Christmas. Up until I was about ten or eleven I was one of those “Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow” that found it hard to sleep on Christmas eve. After a while thought, it started to become for me what I now see it becoming for others.It was a chore. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved getting the presents and sugar; I just hated everything else. Caroling was simply singing songs that I hated to my parents friends, and freezing my face off while doing it. Buying gifts seemed like a waste of money, and, worst of all, my family would come into town and somehow someone would offend someone else, causing a four hour all out war. Not my idea of “The most wonderful time of the year.”
As time went on I started to hate Christmas more and more. It got to the point where I resented anyone who liked Christmas. I hated receiving gifts. I was “an angry elf”. Every time I would watch any of those “real meaning of Christmas” movies where they say that the real meaning is to give not receive, I would want to gag. When my family would go caroling I would hide in my room and pretend to be asleep until they left then go watch something like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings.
You see, things like getting presents and singing about a reindeer with red noses never seemed like much fun to me. It never made sense why we celebrate a fat man who sneaks into children’s homes and gives them presents after eating their cookies and milk, no matter how jolly Old Saint Nick was. I had this mindset for quite a while. Each Christmas would ware on me until one day not so long ago.
Strangely enough it didn’t happen during the Christmas season at all. There were no “Yuletide carols being sung by a choir” or carolers singing merry Christmas wishes. In fact, I was in a class on the New Testament one day in the spring just before Easter. Fitting really. You see, my problem with Christmas, when it came down to it, was that the “reason for the season” had been lost. There was no meaning. So, the teacher of the class was talking about the final days of Jesus Christ. His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, His Crucifixion, and finally, the resurrection on the third day. Something hit me that day. Something very real and very powerful made me realize the meaning of this time of year.
I know it’s Christmas time now and everyone likes thinking of Christ as a babe lying in a manger, but when it comes down to what is truly important nothing compares to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Without it His birth would have simply been a pretty cool birthday party. I know that the parties, presents, and songs about magic snowmen are fun, and I no longer hate them, but I testify that the reason for the season is, and should be, Jesus Christ. Not just His birth, but His life, sacrifice, and resurrection as well. THAT is what Christmas is about. He made it possible to be with our families, Him, and our Father in Heaven for eternity. So, have a good time. Carol, eat an enormous amount of food, and have fun doing it. Don’t be like I was, that’s definitely not what Christmas is about. Have your traditions and the stockings and the lit up trees, but when it comes to the true meaning of Christmas, it isn’t Santa, Rudolph, or presents under the tree, but Jesus The Christ, Lord and Savior. Our True, Redeeming friend.